Everything you love about Jason Bourne is in this installment. But little else is added.
Jason Bourne Synopsis
A decade after the Operation Blackbriar incident, Jason Bourne has largely recovered from amnesia and is making a living by taking part in savage fighting bouts. He is then contacted by Nicky Parsons, who has discovered new evidence about Jason’s recruitment into Treadstone. Following Parson’s leads, Bourne uncovers more evidence, some of which points at his father’s key role in the mysterious project. At the same time, he comes across a new conspiracy involving the current CIA director. If successful, this scheme would provide the CIA with unprecedented and terrifying real-time mass surveillance capabilities.
There was a lot of hype when The Bourne Identity (2002) was released. Viewers and critics were crazy over so many things about it. For example, Jason’s fighting style, which supposedly encapsulates both efficiency and instant delivery.
Vice versa, there was the other kind of hype, as in flaming, and practically all of these revolved around the complete removal of the Jackal, the other signature character from Robert Ludlum’s original series. With it being almost ten years since The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), though, these complaints are mostly forgotten. What’s remembered is only that the Bourne Trilogy was a box office success, on top of establishing Matt Damon’s worth as an action star.
And so Jason Bourne (2016) is, of course, an unabashed attempt to milk more money from the aging franchise. In the name of giving Bourne fans more of what they loved and cheered for.
It kind of delivers. Kind of. There’s plenty of that deadly Jason Bourne single-mindedness. Plenty of car chases, ambushes, double crossings, and death duels too. The action scenes, by the way, best enjoyed with eyes attuned to the art of sssshhaakkkyccaaammm.
On the other hand, the story makes little sense. It is unbelievable that after what Jason did in Ultimatum, no authority from Langley devoted a whole department to taking him out. For the story to again revolve around that question of, “er, why am I Jason?” also feels tired and vapid. Why didn’t the producers instead probe deeper into the question of privacy versus national security, and not leave that as a cumbersome sub-plot?
On a brighter note, Alicia Vikander’s stoic ambiguity breathes some fresh air into the saga. In several ways, she seems to be an equal to Jason Bourne. Her character should be one to look forward to, should we get another episode in this franchise.
Useful PSA: Many travel guides speak of “walking purposefully” while vacationing, so as to discourage scammers and muggers. This movie is a great tutorial on how to do that.
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